DENVER - The Denver Broncos are moving closer to the postseason.
Riding high on a nine-game winning streak, Denver faces the Cleveland Browns to begin a crucial two game home-stand that will determine their playoff positioning. The Browns haven't won in Denver since 1972, just one of the five things to keep in mind this Sunday.
1. The Broncos clinch the 2 seed if -
They beat the Cleveland Browns combined with a New England Patriots loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Broncos will clinch the second seed in the playoffs if they win their final two games. The last time the Broncos were a second seed in the postseason was in 2005 when they beat New England in the AFC Divisional round.
2. Broncos Historic Winning Streak -
If the Broncos can beat the Browns then they will tie for the second longest single season winning streak in franchise history at 10 games. The last time the Broncos won 10 consecutive games in a season was in 1984. Denver's longest winning streak was at 13 games set in 1998.
3. Denver Must Protect Manning -
Despite having the 22nd ranked defense, the Browns love to get after the quarterback. Cleveland has 36 sacks which ranks for seventh in the league. The Browns have recorded seven sacks in the last two games.
4. Broncos Dominate The Second Half -
The Broncos have outscored their opponent in the second half by 133 points. During their nine-game winning streak, the Broncos have an 80 point differential after the break. The San Diego Chargers are the only team to outscore the Broncos in the second half of a game. That was only by three points.
5. Matchup to watch: Browns Joshua Cribbs vs Broncos Trindon Holliday -
The special teams department could be explosive Sunday as two of the best return men face each other on Sunday. Cleveland Browns returner Joshua Cribbs has seven career returns for a touchdown. With another trip to the end zone, Broncos returner Trindon Holliday will become the third Bronco in history to score on three special teams returns in a single season.
Other Games To Watch
1. Minnesota Vikings (8-6) vs. Houston Texans (12-2) - Houston clinches the first seed in AFC playoffs with a win.
2. Cincinnati Bengals (8-6) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-7) - The Cincinnati Bengals clinch a playoff slot with a win.
3. San Francisco 49ers (10-3-1) vs Seattle Seahawks (9-5) - San Francisco clinches the NFC West Division with a win.